TENNIS: We’re down to the last eight in the ATP 500 event in Vienna and while number one seed Daniil Medvedev is safely through, other top names have already exited the competition, so there’s plenty to play for.
Daniil Medvedev v Jannick Sinner
Though this looks an interesting tie on paper, as the odds suggest, the Russian Medvedev very much looks the one to beat here.
It perhaps hasn’t been his best year winning just once and he’s now slipped to four in the world, but he didn’t make it number one for the first time without showing the consistency that we’ve come to expect from the 26-year-old. To add to that, he’s won over $3.3million this year so it certainly hasn’t been bad on the bank balance!
He lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of Astana but that was only after having to retire injured and it was fair to say he was well on top at the time too. That showed he’s more than got it to still mix it with the best and he’s looked really good so far in this tournament having dropped just four games against Nikoloz Basilashvili in his opening match and then just six against Dominic Thiem in the round of 16.
Those showings were further evidence that he tends to come good at this time of year and perhaps he’s just a bit fitter at the back end of the season when others are feeling it a bit.
In Sinner he faces a man who he has beaten in all three matches they’ve played – and those wins have been comfortable too with the Italian only winning two sets to Medvedev’s six. The Russian might be short at 1.44, but that looks the play given his current form and prior dominance over his quarter final opponent.
Hubert Hurkacz v Borna Coric
Make no mistake, Hubert Hurkacz is not the easiest to figure out and his game is blighted by inconsistency. However, when he is on-form, he’s a seriously good player, as his world ranking of number 11 suggests, and he looks the one to be with against Borna Coric.
The Pole can go from the sublime to the quite frankly ridiculous and as a result betting on him is not the easiest, but for the past couple of months his game, for the most part, seems to have turned a corner. He got past the potentially tricky Frances Tiafoe in the opener here before making it past Emil Ruusuvuori in an absolute cracker.
What was noteworthy about that win is that his back was against the wall on a couple of occasions, but he dug deep and got the job done. We’ve seen on plenty of occasions that Hurkacz can fold when the pressure ramps up, so it was good to see him put in a performance when it was needed.
Coric won’t be an easy challenge, especially as he comes into this after a great win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The head-to-head between these two is one all, so Coric will have his supporters, but Hurkacz is the better overall player and with his serve working particularly well, he’s the one to be with at 1.76.